Creek County Wildfire Victims Move Forward; Suspect Still On The Run


Sunday, October 21st 2012, 10:19 pm
By: News On 6


It's been nearly three months since the Creek County wildfires turned hundreds of lives upside down and still no one has been arrested.

Investigators say Billy Cloud is the man responsible for starting the fires.

Right now, Cloud is nowhere to be found.

09/19/2012 Related Story: Bristow Man Charged With Arson In Tragic Creek County Wildfires

Fire victims we spoke to are not sure if arresting Cloud would even make a difference.

Even though a brand new mobile home sits on Deborah Tilman's property, it doesn't erase the painful memories from August.

"It was just devastating," Tilman said. "That's all I can say. Everything's gone."

Tilman, along with hundreds of other families, lost her home in the fire.

Creek County authorities believe the fire started when an intoxicated Cloud dropped a cigarette outside his home near Mannford during a statewide, governor-issued burn ban.

In September, investigators issued an arrest warrant for Cloud, but they haven't been able to find him.

Read a deputy's detailed information sheet on Billy Cloud and the fire investigation 

"I don't think it's going to do any good to have him arrested, because everybody's lost their homes and all the damage is done and we don't get it back," Tilman said.

To help ease the pain, a group put on an "Out of the Ashes Benefit Concert" this weekend in Tulsa.

"We're just trying to do what we feel is right to help out," organizer Jason Coss said. "We're in a situation where we can close the streets of downtown Tulsa down and hopefully bring some people out here for a good cause."

See complete Oklahoma Wildfire coverage

Friendly gestures like these helped Patricia Walliser after her home went up in flames.

A stranger donated a furnished mobile home to the Walliser family.

"There are still good people out there," Walliser said. "It makes me feel good."

Walliser doesn't think Cloud's actions were intentional.

"We've all done it," Walliser said. "I'm a smoker. I've done it. You don't think that cigarette's going to burn, take everything from a bunch of people."

She has this message for the man investigators believe caused so much damage.

"I forgive him because I know things happen, but just to save yourself, do it, you know, turn yourself in," Walliser said.

The district attorney is pursuing two possible charges for Cloud.

He could either face third-degree arson or unlawful burning during a burn ban.